We have seen it in newsprint and documentaries. Even Al Gore, former vice president during the Clinton presidency, came out to say global warming is real. We have evidence of it in the melting of the polar ice caps and the severe weather all around the world and we rail about who is to blame. Is it our leaders, the cycle of the earth’s phases or our own selfishness? Jews have always had a responsibility to the earth. Tikkun Olam is making this world a better place for all humanity. In Genesis 1:26 and 28, the Torah says we have a moral obligation towards God’s creation in the form of stewardship and in Leviticus 25:8-11, we are also told to rest the land every 50 years and not cut down any trees to promote more for the future. Furthermore, the Hebrews were told in Deuteronomy 20:19 when you fight for a city, do not destroy the trees because they bear fruit for sustenance. We even have a festival, Tu B’Shevat that comes on the 15th day of Shevat to celebrate the New Year of the Trees. In Jewish schools families across the globe children partake in seders (dinners) which are filled with an assortment of fruits. One custom is to eat a new fruit that is abundant in Israel another is to plant a tree but due to the harsh weather here in the United States at that time (January/February) tree planting is forestalled until spring.
We as human beings, who share this land, have a due diligence to protect the only environment we know. We can take steps to see we protect our environment. An easy way to start your own protective venture is to recycle, not a hard task. Use no plastic shopping bags. Make sure your house has green technology; gas efficient cars; bicycle when you can, and stop unneeded junk mail. When we start with personal responsibility, we can then move on to corporate mandates.